[Ardour-Users] Hm...

Lamar Owen lowen at pari.edu
Mon Aug 30 13:38:30 PDT 2010

On Monday, August 30, 2010 02:59:23 pm David Kastrup wrote:
> Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu> writes:
> > Ardour is at least as complicated a program as emacs,
> If that's your impression, [snip]
> Because the combined complexity of the supported tasks in Emacs is
> rather staggering.

As is what can be done in Ardour.  Right-click is your friend, and so is the cursor mode.  And, yes, I'm a long-time vi user, and not an emacs one.... but that is orthogonal to a DAW....

> > depending upon the size of the file and how fast your computer is.
> > You need to drag the start marker
> What start marker?

See http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/ExportSession (it's yellow, labeled start, and is on the Location Markers ruler.)

> > to the desired crop point, drag the fadeout handle
> What fadeout handle?

Please see the section headed "Creating Fades in Regions" at http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/WorkingWithRegions (it's square, filled in, and located in the upper right hand corner of every region; the fade in is in the upper left hand corner)

> > at the end of the track to the desired fadeout begin point, and drag
> > the end marker to the actual end of the fadeout.
> What end marker?

See http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/ExportSession (it's yellow, labeled end, and is on the Location Markers ruler.)

> Huh?  Why should there be fadein/fadeout handles when I have not made
> any fading?

All regions automatically have an abrupt fade in and out immediately after creation or import.
> > and you can drag things to your heart's content.  You just need to be
> > in the right edit mode, and know what you're looking at.
> Problem is that the editing modes are called very unintuitively, have
> unintuitive items and non-explanatory tooltips. 

Please see http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/EditModes for a very lucid explanation of the edit and cursor modes.  The edit mode labels I might agree about; the cursor mode labels, on the other hand, I find very intuitive, and second nature by now.

> GUIs are good at offering discoverability, and this should not lightly
> be thrown away.

Ardour is, at least in my experience, the most intuitive professional level DAW out there.  It is also one of the most poorly documented; the FLOSS manual, which I've given links to sections of, helps this situation somewhat, and the Harrison Mixbus product (based on Ardour) has a good introduction to operations included in it (I'm a Mixbus user primarily, but have used Ardour for several years).

> Which makes it all the more desirable for it to refrain from whacking
> the user in the face when this is not actually necessary. 

I have never personally been whacked in the face by Ardour; it has operated pretty much just as I would expect it to, given that it's more than a soundfile editor, but a full bore DAW of the ProTools caliber (or better, IMO).  It is not CoolEdit.  Or Audacity; but do note that even the 'simple' Audacity has cursor modes and doesn't just 'save as' but requires exporting to WAV if that's the format you need.

How else can you do all the things with the mouse pointer that you can in Ardour without cursor modes?

But, at the same time, look at your initial post's rather extreme negativity, and, if you were the developer or had been a user of the program for some time, what would your reaction have been?

> > Due to its "many file project" design, yes, Ardour creates lots of
> > files before you save anything; this is somewhat unexpected, true
> > enough, but it is the way it works.
> It does not just create files, but it also fixes project parameters
> (like the sample rate) in stone, even if one quits without saving.

So, in other words, there is no such thing (currently) as quitting without saving.  That's part of the package.  Some things are not undoable, too, making a 'quit without saving' or 'revert' difficult to do; snapshots are one way around that, but, yes, Ardour assumes you are going to save the session.  This is not at all unlike CoolEditPro/Adobe Audition, which, if I remember correctly, since it has been several years since I last used them, did the same thing, including the sample rate lock.

> If Ardour offers me to quit without saving changes, it _is_ wrong if it
> does not quit without saving changes.  

That I would agree with; especially since some changes cannot be undone.  I've noticed that, too, but, honestly, it is not an annoyance to me, I just know to expect it.  It's certainly something I wouldn't want Paul or another developer to waste time on when more important things are to be done; if a developer wants to scratch that itch, well, I'm sure Paul would accept (or at least look at) a patch.  Having a 'package' session rather than the current large folder structure might be a nice thing; but, then again, that's what ZIP files were designed for.  And it's not hard to delete a whole directory tree in virtually any Linux dist; just treat the whole tree as if it were one file (much like .app directory trees are treated on Mac OS X).

Please take time to take a look at the FLOSS manual ( http://en.flossmanuals.net/ardour/ ) because Ardour does do things differently; understand that its way of doing things does actually work for the majority of its users (including me), and that it has been in development for ten years (which means that major architectural changes, especially stability-robbing ones, aren't likely.  That being said, Ardour 3 is a fairly major change, and I look forward to trying it out one day....hopefully sooner rather than later, just haven't had time to compile it and run it much yet.....)

This isn't intended to call you an idiot; it's simply that your initial post indicated that you took enough time to find the mailing list but didn't take the time to find the links to the FLOSS manual, which really is the best tutorial out there right now.  You'll find the link from the 'support' tab on ardour.org, two sections above the links for the mailing lists.

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